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Grand National helps Great Britain’s GGY grow again in April

| By Nosa Omoigui
Data published by the GB Gambling Commission has shown operators generated a gross gambling yield of £560.2m in April 2021 - a 2.6% increase on the previous month.
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The figures were compiled using data from operators representing around 80% of the online gambling market. While the Commission has now reported more than a year’s worth of data since lockdowns began, it said it was “not advisable” to compare year-on-year figures, due to “different operating circumstances”.

The overall revenue figure was the second-highest since the regulator started publishing monthly data, behind December 2020.

The regulator said impact of horse racing events such as the Grand National helped contribute to the figure increase, as GGR from real event betting increased 7.0% in March to £267.4m.

The GGR of slots and other casino games both declined by less than 0.5%, at £202.0m and £71.0m respectively. The slight decline in slots comes after the vertical hit a record high in revenue in March.

Virtual betting and poker saw 8.9% and 9.1% decreases to £7.6m and £8.4m respectively.

Esports betting was up 2.7% to £1.9m.

Real-event betting was also the only sector to see an increase in active players between March and April, increasing 12.0% to 6.7m. Slots and other casino games both decreased 1% to 3.2m and 2.2m, virtual betting players decreased 5% to 256,233, and poker players saw the biggest drop, 11%, to 300,520.

The number of bets placed decreased across the board. Slot spins fell 1.0% to 6.1bn, real-event bets dropped to 344.3m and virtual bets decreased 7.2% to 17.1m. Poker wagers saw the biggest decrease falling 19.1% to 94.7m. Bets placed on other casino games decreased 3.3% to 295.6m.

The average slot session length fell to 20 minutes, and the number of sessions lasting longer than an hour fell 4% to 2.6m.

Last week, the regulator also published full data for the GB market from April to September 2020, a period heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. GGY for the sixth-month period was £5.89bn. Year-on-year comparisons were not available due to a change in reporting periods, but the figures suggest a drop of more than 10%.